With a 41-41 record and having won four of their last 10 contests, the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves limping towards the All-Star break. Yet, despite their recent run of poor form, the Cards are just two games back of the second NL Wild Card spot.
St. Louis will have the remainder of the month to figure out how they'll approach this year's trade deadline. If the club starts to play up to its talent level, it's likely that the Cardinals will be active buyers come July 31.
With that in mind, here are St. Louis' three biggest needs that should be addressed at the deadline.
1. Lefty Bullpen Arm
Andrew Miller has been pretty inconsistent in his first year with the Cards and until he finally rounds into form, the club could use another southpaw to turn to when games are on the line. Will Smith is the best lefty reliever likely to be available at the deadline and should give St. Louis the dominant late-inning lefty that it expected in Miller for the rest of the season.
2. Veteran Utility Man
The Cardinals could definitely use another infield depth piece for the stretch run, as Jedd Gyorko hasn't produced as expected this year (When healthy, anyway). He's not the the biggest name out there, but utility man Eric Sogard is in the middle of a career year (.311/.379/.505) with the Toronto Blue Jays and has displayed the ability play any infield position. Adding Sogard's potent bat and defensive versatility to an already solid lineup could give manager Mike Shildt the kind of flexibility he needs to guide St. Louis into the playoffs.
The Cardinals have used a closer-by-committee approach since closer Jordan Hicks went down with a torn UCL, and so far, it's worked out pretty well. St. Louis will have the entire month to determine if its bullpen can consistently slam the door shut in Hicks' absence, but if Cards' relievers are unable to do so, the trade market is flush with available closers. Trading for the likes of Ken Giles, Felipe Vazquez, or Will Smith should be more than enough to shore up the ninth for the rest of the season.
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Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.